Small Business Advertising Strategy: Your Essential Guide to Geo Targeting

Did you know the money you spend on ads could be going to waste?

For small business owners, every penny counts. You’re wasting advertising dollars if you’re not doing digital advertising right. A big part of that is using geo-targeting to get customers who are right in your local area and ready to buy.

The power of the internet means you can reach more people than ever. But, you need a guide on how to do your ad campaigns the right way.

If you’ve ever wondered how you can do that, then keep reading. This guide is going to tell you everything you need to know about geo targeting.

What is Geo Targeting?

Geo targeting is a tool which allows business owners to target ads at people in their geographic location. You can tailor this location (or many locations) to suit your needs.

The location you pick can be a radius around your store, for example. You can also use it for location groups, such as places of interest in your city or town.

Geo targeting ensures your advertising money is focused on the exact areas your customers live in or visit. As a result, your return on investment is maximized.

Just as with physical ads, like billboards or signs, it’s all about placement and location. You could have the best ad in the state, but if it’s not in the right place, it’s a wasted investment.

Audience and Keywords

A big part of good ads is knowing your audience. Think about your target customer.

Can you pinpoint where they are and what their shopping habits are like? What keywords are they searching for online?

Once you do this, you can begin to tailor your ads. The more targeted, the better.

If you look at your current advertising, it’s likely that it’s pretty generic. When you create ads speaking to your customer directly, that’s when they’ll take notice.

How To Set Up Target Advertising

Google AdWords is the most popular tool to use for location-based advertising. To start, you’ll need to get an AdWords account. Then you’ll be ready to create your first campaign.

There are two main types of Google ads: search and display.

With a search ad, your business will be displayed at the very top of any search results by a potential customer. If you choose this type of ad, you’ll pay each time a person clicks on the ad link.

Display ads are shown in a different format. They are typically displayed on a website as a banner image.

Google makes it easy by breaking down the potential ads using location. In addition to choosing your target areas, you can also exclude certain areas too.

Once you have an ad running, you want to make sure it’s not appearing next to any unsavory content. You can do ad verification by using residential IP addresses. A useful tool to help with this is a Residential Proxy Network.

Geo Targeting For Facebook

Once you’ve done your first Google campaign, you’ll find it easy to set up advertising on Facebook Ads. Here can be even more precise than on Google AdWords. Facebook allows you to customize just about everything.

You start by creating an audience at the very first stage of the process. This way you can target by age, marital status, and more. The real core of where Facebook stands out is on location.

In addition to targeting a city or state, you can target popular places like a mall or airport. You can then choose a radius around that location to be included in the Facebook ad. Like Google, you can also exclude areas from targeting.

Facebook goes further than just showing your ads to anyone in a target location. Additionally, you can show ads to anyone who was recently there, is traveling to there, or who lives in the location.

Methods To Improve Your Strategy

Once you have an ad campaign, there are plenty of ways to improve your targeting. Put these into place and you can appeal even more to your target audience.

Put the Name of Your Location in the Ad Text

If you’re a small local business, your customers are searching for you locally. For example, if you run a pet grooming service in Seattle, put Seattle in the ad. This can give you the edge over other businesses which just use a generic tagline.

To test this out, you can try many campaigns. Put the individual location and see how they perform.

Tailor Ads to What’s Around You

As a business person, you have to think strategically when creating campaigns. What’s around you?

For example, say you are close to a big stadium, or a college. Why not create a targeted ad on the day of a big game? Or a special coupon for college students who stop by your business?


Retargeting means targeting people who have visited your site before. You can track these visitors and create ads specifically for them. Facebook and Google allow you to create a campaign specifically for these visitors.

Keeping your business in their minds will increase the chances of them purchasing in the future. This is a smart way of spending money showing ads to targets you already know have an interest in what you’re selling.

Test Geo Targeting On Yourself

Now that you know all about geo targeting, there’s an easy way to try it out. You can find out how it works for your business by doing a test campaign. Target yourself and see how the ads work in real life.

Marketing can be a daunting task to take on for most small businesses. If you need help, a digital marketing agency could be the answer. Check out our guide to the qualities you should look for when hiring digital marketing companies.